Top Russian teams punished for mass brawl (VIDEO)
Six footballers have been slapped with six-match bans for their role in the mass brawl which marred the Russian Cup match between Zenit St. Petersburg and Spartak Moscow last weekend.
The sanctions were announced by the Control and Disciplinary Committee of the Russian Football Union (RFU) on Thursday.
“For participating in a mass brawl, it was decided to disqualify Zenit players Malcolm, [Wilmar] Barrios and Rodrigao, as well as Spartak players [Aleksandr] Sobolev, [Aleksandr] Selikhov and [Shamar] Nicholson for six matches of the Russian Cup each,” committee head Artur Grigoryants told the media.
The RFU website also announced that both teams had been fined 100,000 rubles each ($1,630) because of the brawl.
Each of the players banned was given a red card when violence erupted at the end of full-time in the match at Zenit’s Gazprom Arena on Sunday.
Zenit had sought to overturn the dismissals for Malcom and Barrios, although their case was rejected by the RFU committee.
There were also calls from Zenit for Spartak’s Quincy Promes to be punished, after he was seen clashing with Barrios before a wider fracas erupted.
The RFU disciplinary committee did not impose a sanction, although a referees’ commission said in a separate statement that the Dutchman should have been red-carded for his role in the melee.
Tensions erupted between bitter rivals Zenit and Spartak at the final whistle of their Russian Cup clash.
A scuffle between Promes and Barrios escalated as Zenit’s Rodrigao was seen kicking Spartak’s Jamaican forward Nicholson, who responded by landing a punch on the Brazilian.
Players on the pitch as well as substitutes from the two benches were seen scuffling as referee Vladimir Moskalev and fellow match officials desperately tried to restore order.
Footage of the brawl shared by Russian-based Brazilian journalist Fabio Alexio has been viewed almost 12 million times online, with media outlets around the world picking up the story.
Spartak players were also filmed viewing the fight on TV screens at the stadium after the match, cheering when slow-motion footage was shared of Nicholson landing a punch on Rodrigao.
27/11/2022 Russia 🇷🇺.Spartak (Moscow) players seeing the footage of themselves after the game with Zenit (St. Petersburg) 📺🥊👀 pic.twitter.com/pZ1aGtuZSg— 𝐂𝐚𝐬𝐮𝐚𝐥 𝐔𝐥𝐭𝐫𝐚 𝐎𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 (@thecasualultra) November 28, 2022
The match ended 0-0 at full time, with Zenit going on to win a penalty shootout 4-2.
Despite the defeat, Spartak still finished top of Russian Cup Group B, progressing to the playoffs, while Zenit were third in the standings and will have to negotiate a regional playoff path.